If a struggling business owner were to ask me to identify what they could improve to stay ahead in this marketplace, I would say adaptability.
Of course, each business is different, and I wouldn’t know what a given company’s struggles are without a thorough inventory. But most of us can take steps to improve our adaptability. Agility is one of the most important skills for your business to weather market storms and come out ahead.
A key feature of agility is enterprise mobility. This is the all-encompassing term given to the trend of employees working from their mobile devices when they’re not in the office. It’s slowly eliminating the need for traditional office spaces. In a sense, enterprise mobility is the future of the workplace. Here’s how to achieve it.
Embrace an Entrepreneurial Culture
We’ve been speaking about millennials for years, and now they’re getting older. This was the generation that began the BYOD movement that started to break down work silos and change the way we think about the workplace. Now we have a new generation of workers joining the force. Gen Z expects a digital workplace and a forward-thinking culture. While millennials embraced an entrepreneurial spirit, Gen Z demands it.
Enterprise mobility allows businesses to offer a more flexible work environment and provide the desirable entrepreneurial culture. Employees won’t be confined to their cubicles and a 9-to-5 workday—this is the workforce of the past. Today’s workers will work from their couches, from Starbucks, or even while on vacation. To foster this on-the-go spirit is to take the first step toward total organization mobility.
Prepare for the Convergence of Desktop and Mobile
Another key driver in this trend is the convergence of desktop and mobile. Now, everything is connected. Part of this always-on trend is accelerated by the release of Windows 10, which further blurs the line between desktop and mobile. Desktop OS and mobile OS now share many of the same capabilities, allowing workers to seamlessly transition between the two.
Enterprises also are shifting from traditional lifecycle management tools to enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools. Legacy devices will continue to work on traditional lifecycle management, but all new devices, whether mobile or not, will move toward an EMM process.
Refocus Your Security Energy
One of the principal concerns with enterprise mobility is controlling security. Mobility requires a lot of moving parts, so there is the natural question of what your IT department can do to keep up. Technology companies are already addressing these concerns, namely where cloud protection and BYOD management is concerned.
The Mobile World Congress convened in early 2016 to discuss the future of apps and mobile security. They launched AppConfig in response to an increasingly mobile world. AppConfig offers a streamlined approach to app management and configuration for enterprises interested in embracing mobility. It builds upon the existing security infrastructure in mobile OS and allows IT staff to easily configure and manage industry-specific applications according to unique business policies and regulatory requirements.
Yet recent research from PC Connection found that 60 percent of IT decision makers listed network security vulnerability as one of their top concerns as it applies to enterprise mobility. Organizations want their workforces to be mobile, but some smaller companies may have trouble keeping up with the demands of BYOD security. In this case, turning to a managed provider can be beneficial.
Expect the Trend to Grow
In the same PC Connection survey, 58 percent of IT decision makers reported they would support mobility programs and BYOD programs this year. I would expect that number will only continue to grow. Enterprises are beginning to realize that employees who have autonomy in their work environment are more productive and better adjusted. Enterprise mobility also opens flexible work opportunities for freelance professionals and the employers who hire them from a global talent pool.
To get the most out of enterprise mobility, businesses must foster an entrepreneurial culture, address security concerns, and prepare their staffs. Your enterprise will become more adaptable with the correct approach, which is essential in today’s fast-paced marketplace. Break down your company silos and allow your company to become more productive by adopting a mobility strategy. Make mobility a priority in 2017.
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Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.